What to Watch for as Nashville SC Faces Colorado Rapids in Last Match Before International Break

2022.05.25 @ LOU (USOC)-2

Nashville SC (5W-4L-4D, 19 pts.) concludes a packed month of May on Saturday night with a matchup at Colorado Rapids (5W-5L-3D, 18 pts.).  

The Boys in Gold are coming off a 2-1 win over USL Championship side Louisville City FC in the Round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night. Midfielder Hany Mukhtar scored the winning goal in the 89’ minute after being subbed on late in the second half.  

Saturday’s match will mark the first clash between Nashville and Colorado in Major League Soccer. It’s also the final 90 minutes of work before a two-week international break between matches for Nashville SC. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s showdown: 

Date: Saturday, May 28 
Time: 8:00 p.m. CT 
Location: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Commerce City, Colo.) 
TV: MyTV30 
Local Stream: NashvilleSC.com/stream 
Out-of-Market Stream: ESPN+ 
English Radio: iHeartRadio Online, Nashville SC App 
Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7 FM 
Watch Party 

Squad Work – Saturday's match will be the eighth and final match across all competitions of a wild month of May for Nashville SC. Head Coach Gary Smith has utilized his squad depth throughout the month to keep players fresh through a condensed schedule.  

Smith says he is happy with how his squad is looking with a quick turnaround between Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup win and Saturday’s Major League Soccer match.  

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to take this game and keep our confidence and Cup run intact,” Smith said. “It’s a quick turnaround again. I think we’re in a better place than we were when we went to Houston. There were some challenges with that game in a very similar situation. I think the whole picture of this setup was different. What we needed, how we were going to go about our business, maybe one or two lessons learned, and certainly players that were ready for this moreso than they were against Atlanta.” 

Mr. Loba Loba – Forward Aké Loba scored his first goal of the season on Wednesday. Midfielder Luke Haakenson squared a perfect ball across the box in the 39’ minute for Loba to knock into the back of the net. 

The Ivorian striker credited the team for setting up the goal.  

“We are a very compact group,” Loba said. “That was a goal scored by the team, it wasn’t necessarily just mine. That is the mentality of the group, continuously seeking a response. We push and move forward as a group, and we seek to find the answer together. Ultimately, that will be where we get the goal as a group.” 

Gary’s Return – Saturday's match will be the first in MLS between Nashville SC and the Rapids, more than two years after Nashville’s entry into the league.  

It will also mark Smith’s return to Colorado, where he coached the Rapids from 2008 to 2011, winning MLS Cup in 2010. That championship squad featured defender Kosuke Kimura and goalkeeper Matt Pickens, who are now members of Smith’s coaching staff in Nashville. First Assistant Coach Steve Guppy was also on Smith’s 2010 MLS Cup-winning staff in Colorado.  

Smith says his squad will be ready for a tough encounter in his old stomping ground.  

“We go to Colorado in good shape and good health and looking forward to a real challenge somewhere I’ve not been for 11 or 12 years,” Smith said.